Sceptered pall = royal robe.
Presenting Thebes, &c. These lines represent the subjects of tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, the great tragic poets of Athens.
Musaeus, here for some bard of the distant past, generally. Musaeus, in mythology, is a bard of Thrace, and son of Orpheus.
Half-told the story of Cambuscan bold. The Squire’s Tale in Chaucer, which is broken off in the middle.
Camball, Cambuscan’s son. Algarsife and Canace, his wife and daughter.
Frounced. Used of hair twisted and curled.
The Attic Boy = Cephalus, loved by Eos, the Morning.
A shower still = a soft shower.
Sylvan = Pan or Sylvanus.
Cloister’s pale = cloister’s enclosure.
Massy proof. Massive and proof against the weight above them.]
* * * * *
As we approached the town, I was fortunate enough to overtake the fugitive Kaartans to whose kindness I had been so much indebted in my journey through Bambarra. They readily agreed to introduce me to the King; and we rode together through some marshy ground where, as I was anxiously looking around for the river, one of them called out, geo affili (see the water), and looking forwards, I saw with infinite pleasure the great object of my mission—the long sought for majestic Niger, glittering to the morning sun, as broad as the Thames at Westminster, and flowing slowly to the eastward. I hastened to the brink, and having drank of the water, lifted up my fervent thanks in prayer to the Great Ruler of all things, for having thus far crowned my endeavours with success.
The circumstance of the Niger’s flowing towards the east, and its collateral points, did not, however, excite my surprise; for although I had left Europe in great hesitation on this subject, and rather believed that it ran in the contrary direction, I had made such frequent inquiries during my progress concerning this river, and received from negroes of different nations such clear and decisive assurance that its general course was towards the rising sun, as scarce left any doubt on my mind; and more especially as I knew that Major Houghton had collected similar information in the same manner.
I waited more than two hours without having an opportunity of crossing the river; during which time, the people who had crossed carried information to Mansong, the King, that a white man was waiting for a passage, and was coming to see him. He immediately sent over one of his chief men, who informed me that the King could not possibly see me until he knew what had brought me into his country; and that I must not presume to cross the river without the King’s permission. He therefore advised me to lodge